The Daily Trap, Trapit’s Top Picks of 2012

It’s nearing the end of 2012 (and the Mayan Calendar) and it’s been a great year at Trapit. How could it not have been? We launched an iPad app! And while that was certainly a highlight, Trapit’s given us more than that. For your reading pleasure, please enjoy Trapit staff’s top picks of 2012—the discoveries, Traps, and stories that distracted us from the toil of QA presented in no particular order.

NASA’s Perpetual Ocean animations visualize the flow of the ocean.

Laura’s Picks:

Feminism: This was the Trap I was most inclined to lose hours to (thank stars for our iPad app). The feminist blogosphere is full of witty, thoughtful, and feisty ladies and gents. And with politicians providing plenty of grist for the mill this year—there was rarely a dull moment.

Garlic Scapes: They’re curly, they’re tasty, they popped up in the grocery aisle this spring (and many a garden). Allegiances aside, Trapit’s my go-to source for finding recipes for new/strange/routine ingredients. My Garlic Scapes Trap did not disappoint.

Occupy Wallstreet/Rolling Jubilee: Call me a perennial optimist but I’ve been following the latest offshoot of Occupy Wallstreet, Rolling Jubilee, with glee (we’re gonna change the world y’all). While not the solution it’s a great start and conversation—with a wider backing of journalists than any project thus far.

Discovering the OUP blog: My Etymology and Translation Traps are two of my faves and have led me to one my now favorite blogs, from the Oxford University Press. This year Oxford Etymologist Anatoly Liberman took me down such literary paths as, the origin of Fart.

Butts: And now that you know where my interests sometimes skew, I’ll admit I’m a huge fan of throwing the random and the sometimes juvenile keywords into our machine. My Butt Trap has been an engaging read, mostly due to butt enhancement surgeries gone wrong (warning, not for the faint of heart).

Cartography and Data Visualization: Allow me to be cliche for a minute—we all know it, a picture is worth a thousand words and my cartography and data visualizations traps have been my place to hang out when I’m bored and need something interesting and pretty all year.

A brave athlete, Sam Gordon.

Geoff’s Picks:

Sports Sexism: It took 80 years for Augusta National to see things straight. In what was coined a ‘joyous occasion,’ the prestigious Georgia golf club admitted two female members for the first time.

Fighting homophobia: Bullying is a real issue in society. It pains me to hear the haunting tales of kids being targeted on a basis of sexual orientation and even more so for those too afraid to come out. The LGBT community needed another proud leader in sports to carry the pride flag and they found one in featherweight Orlando El Fenómeno Cruz.

Independent internet: When Seattle’s Macklemore x Ryan Lewis performed live on Ellen in late October, their youtube music video ‘Same Love’ had already eclipsed eight million views. The song advocated for gay marriage rights & Referendum 74, a measure that passed by a slim margin just days later in Washington state. Entirely independent from any record label, the group’s album rose to number one on iTunes, and shed stereotypes of today’s rap music along the way.

Recovered Innocence: After serving five years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Brian Banks was exonerated and given a second chance to pursue his dream of playing professional football.

Stepping stones: The weight on NCAA’s controversial BCS system finally caved in, as officials signed off on Division I college football’s first ever four-team playoff bracket. It felt like a historic step forward, yet the 2012 season showed how the new layout may still need some serious rethinking.

Birthday wishes: It was the 40th anniversary for Title IX, and two young budding female athletes chose 2012 for their coming out party. Sam Gordon, a 9-year old peewee football running back was so talented, she ended up on a Wheaties box. Little League knuckleballer Chelsea Baker was the only girl in a boys baseball league, yet no batter in the nation was a match for her.

Olympic classic: The South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius left a mark on the London games with one of the most memorable sports stories of 2012. Competing in both the Olympic and Paralympic games, the double-amputee track star was a grand inspiration and a fan favorite.

The Many Colors of Denim. Image via.

Kelly’s Picks:

Pickling Trap: I got excited about this idea in the Spring but had to wait until the Fall pickling season to get a good trap. But once I got it going, it yielded some great and interesting results from bloggers all over. It definitely inspired me to give some pickling a try next year.

Discovering the Recipe Boy blog: During a sourcing project I happened upon this great food blog by a young boy named Brooks. I’m used to seeing food blogs by mostly moms and 20-something women, so seeing a young boy so excited about food and blogging was really refreshing.

Feminism and Anne Marie Slaughter: After The Atlantic published an article written by Anne Marie Slaughter titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” the Feminism Trap exploded with fascinating articles and blog posts addressing the issue of whether the modern woman can really have it all or if that’s just foolish thinking. I was shocked at how many weeks later the response articles kept popping up. That article definitely struck a chord with women all over the country.

Colored Denim: Colored denim was one of the better fashion trends of 2012, in my opinion. It was, and still is, a trend that most people can pull off and is affordable to achieve. The Colored Denim Trap first appeared in the Spring and offered all kinds of great inspiration for styling the punchy trend. It’s now folded into the general Denim Trap, which is equally as inspiring for the Trapit fashionistas out there.

The Election: I am admittedly a bit of a political junkie sometimes, so I had great fun exploring all the election-related traps this year. Even though I have my own opinions, it’s really nice to see such diverse content from the whole political spectrum in one place, instead of big media sites, which are generally either right or left-leaning.

Thanksgiving: I love working with our food traps and I love the holidays, so one of my favorite traps of the year has to be the Harvest Recipes trap, which had so many awesome Thanksgiving recipes as well as great ways to cook fun seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, kale, and beets. Quite a few of us here in the office actually tried recipes we found in this trap, and I think they were all great hits!

Discovering the Camille Styles blog: I found this blog in one of my food traps and have been addicted ever since. There’s all kinds of foodie goodness on the blog as well as great hostessing tips and beauty and style inspiration. I love the variety this blog brings and now want to try so many new things for entertaining.

Nanomedicine. Image credit: IEEE.

Ethan’s Picks:

Nanomedicine: Cancer and Heart Disease are always the two biggest causes of death in the United States, but advances in nanomedicine — where nanoscale robots are being developed to fight cancer — could someday make cancer of all types a disease of the past. In the meantime, those who are presently surviving cancer should seriously consider going for rehabilitation; only about a third of survivors do, while an estimated 90% would have a vastly improved quality of life if they did.

Personal Freedom: Personal freedom won a big victory here in the United States this past year, as abortion rights were successfully protected, marijuana became legal for the first time in two states, and same-sex marriage is legal now in more places than ever before. It looks like it won’t be long before the U.S. and the rest of the first world makes end-of-life care laws a legitimate and dignified service to patients worldwide.

Scientific Discoveries: And in the world of science, dinosaurs ranging from four-winged fliers to two-ton armored tanks were discovered, our most advanced rover — Mars Curiosity — successfully landed on and is presently exploring the red planet, while the planet Mercury was discovered to harbor water-ice at its poles and the Large Hadron Collider discovered the Higgs Boson, making it possibly the last new fundamental particle we’ll ever discover!

Anticipating 2013: What will 2013 hold for issues like climate science and outer space? What breakthrough will come in stem cell research or neuroscience? How will America do at improving nutrition, staying in shape and fighting our deadliest diseases? Whatever the new year has in store for us, Trapit’s got you covered, and so do I!

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